You have to give Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams an A for effort, but solving a 30-year-old problem could require some divine intervention. McAdams is taking his Better Government & Community Preservation Project to the six county townships and all the community councils, trying to solve the Donkey Kong-ish power plays that have plagued the unincorporated parts of the county for decades. Should they incorporate, annex or just continue as unincorporated areas? 2012 saw the latest salvo—a ballot initiative to incorporate Millcreek Township—defeated. This time, McAdams’ plan is moving forward, as community councils hear about likely 2014 legislation. While Canyon Rim said no, the East Milcreek Community Council voted 5-4 to create a municipal council under the county mayor. The idea was not without contention. At least one community-council member dissed joining with any west-siders lest Millcreek subsidize “those people’s” problems. It’s the old us-against-them attitude that has long characterized the patchwork of county governments.
Meanwhile, in the county, snow removal has become a hot topic. That’s because there’s a huge debate surrounding it—the one about how government doesn’t do anything well and profit is the key to success. So, Cottonwood Heights decided to outsource its snow removal to a company called Terracare, and Dec. 3’s storm proved too much for them—Fort Union Boulevard had to be closed, and they were begging the county and the Utah Department of Transportation to help out. That’s apparently what you get for $1.45 million over 3 1/2 years, and it looks like they’ll get another chance. The big problem? Privatization focuses on dollars and cents, and citizens come in second.
Maybe there is a little compassion in Utah. A draft Good Samaritan bill would allow people to notify authorities of an overdose without risking being charged with a drug-related crime. The idea is to prevent overdose deaths with early intervention. Obviously, the bill would do little to solve drug problems in the state, but it would recognize that death does not have to be a consequence of poor judgment. “Young people don’t always make the best decisions,” sponsor Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Salt Lake City, told The Salt Lake Tribune, “but they don’t deserve to die.” Her bill passed unanimously from the Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice Interim Committee.